This is my first DIY, so please go easy on the comments - thanks!
1) Locate the remote display to a location where I could easily see it while driving, and not have to take my eyes off the road.
2) Relocate the remote behind the clear plastic gauge cluster (originally I was going to locate it behind the gauges and have the arrows show through with a cutout, but...that wasn't going to happen).
3) Keep it looking as clean/OEM as possible
- 1 E46
- Valentine One
- Valentine One Remote display kit
- Small set of screwdrivers
- Dremel kit
- Torx kit (don't remember which sizes)
- Double sided thin tape (scotch tape style and thinness)
- 1 square inch of Velcro
- 1 square inch of flat black material (I used a scrap from a photo album)
- Glue gun and glue
- Utility knife
- 1 friend who knows how to solder very small things
Being OK with not having the door open/signal light faulty display immediately to the left of the odometer.
For me....about 4 hours - but I know there are more skilled folks out there who will take less time.
Step 1: Remove the gauge cluster
Great DIY guide HERE: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ighlight=gauge
Step 2: Take apart your V1 remote display.
There are two small screws in the bottom. Take these out and remove the PCB with the phone jack, as well as the front panel with the arrows. Everything else from the module is unneeded. Separate the PCB from the front panel - should just snap on/off.
Step 3: Soldering (the hard part)
I got a friend to help me with this who is an ace at soldering small things. Basically, you're going to need to first de-solder the phone jack on the PCB (and ensure that the 6 leads are NOT touching. Once the jack is off of the PCB, cut the long phone cord you've been using at the head - the part that plugs into the jack on the PCB (be sure to make a note of the order the 4 wires inside the phone line are so that they line up with the jack and the head).
Using a utility knife, cut back the sleeve of the phone cord to reveal the 4 wires within the phone cord. Using a small stripping tool. Strip off about 1/8 inch of each of the 4 wires to reveal their leads. Now, remembering the order of the wires, slowly and carefully solder the leads of the 4 wires (only the middle 4 are used on the PCB). Use a voltmeter/multimeter to measure resistance between the 6 leads on the PCB - there should be none, as none should be touching one another.
I chose to align the wires (and phone cord) in the opposite direction as they had plugged into the jack, so that they would now come out of the right side of the unit.
Once the solder is complete and the resistance confirmed null, drop a fat drop of glue on the wires/leads. Let it dry, and when dry, shave it as flat as you can with a utility knife.
Step 4: Dremeling the remote display front panel
The panel is nice, but it needs to be very flush and trim to fit between the gauge faces and the gauge cluster clear plastic. Using a dremel, neatly cut back the flange edges of the front display so that it sits flush when laid up against the PCB. It must be allowed to remain as thick as the area where the arrows are (and white plastic insert around the arrows). It should be no thicker than this.
Step 5: Mute button replacement
The mute button must come out for this mod - it's just too narrow an area. The button just pulls out - it's rubber. I used a piece of black photo album plastic and cut it small enough to fit behind the open space where the mute button was. Using double sided tape, I covered the hole from the back of the front panel. I then placed the black Velcro square behind that piece (this will later affix to the PCB when we install the whole unit).
Step 6: Get used to how everything fits...
The PCB is JUST narrow enough to fit inside the gauge cluster, through the hole where the door open/faulty bulb indicator is, just to the left of the odometer. Using just the PCB (now connected to the telephone wire), gently work the PCB into this area to get an idea of how it slides in. Find a comfortable spot where it sits just to the left of the odometer.
Step 7: The Install!
You've got all the parts prepped - now it's time to assemble. Place the dremeled front panel (with Velcro where the mute button used to be) into the gauge cluster, in the exact position you want it to be (just to the left of the odometer). Once seated nicely, get your PCB unit in hand and get ready to gently thread it through the opening you practiced in step 6. With GREAT CARE AND PATIENCE, insert the PCB from behind, aligning the Velcro/mute button side first with the front display. Once you have alignment with the front display on the mute button side (the side closest to the fuel gauge on your cluster), gently push the arrows side of your PCB into the hole. This is where it gets tricky...after you have the PCB entirely through the hole and aligned with the front panel, you'll want to GENTLY slide to toward the odometer hole with your thumb. This will, with just the right amount of pressure, gently secure the unit in between the clear plastic and the gauge panel (the remote display's front panel and the PCB are sandwiched against one another and the clear plastic and gauge face - it's like a shim.
Step 8: One more cut with the Dremel
If you now try to put the cluster back together (after cleaning up any and all plastic flakes from previous cutting), you'll notice it may not fit snugly. You need to cut one more hole. Using the dremel, cut a small hole at the bottom of the gauge cluster, giving just enough room for the phone cord to snake through. Once the hole is cut, snake the cord through and reassemble the cluster.
Step 9: Test
Test everything at this point - plug in your cluster and your phone cord and make sure it works.
Step 10: Reinstall!
Once it all works, thread the phone cord through the dashboard, through the footwell, into the center console near the shifter, and up into the glove box (if that's where you're tapping in for your hardwire). Put the cluster back, and you're in business!
: In the photos you can see the phone cord snaking out of the FRONT of the dash - this was just for testing purposes - once I made sure it worked I fed teh line behind the cluster and down through the dash to the center console and over to the glove box.
Hope this helps some of you out there - it's wordy but I tried to take a lot of photos to help. I love the new location of the display - I don't miss the part of the dash it's covering up too much either - I figure I know when one of my two doors is open, and if a blinker is out, I'll hear the double-blink.